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Bunting could be banned from Lostwithiel Carnival over health and safety fears

Bunting has been used at Lostwithiel Carnival for decades Photo: Lostwithiel Rotary Club

Organisers of a carnival in Cornwall have been told colourful bunting could be banned over health and safety fears.

For decades Lostwithiel Carnival has hung the traditional decorations over several streets in the town with no incidents or injuries recorded.

But Cornwall Council has now deemed the flags too dangerous to put up without meeting a list of strict conditions.

The late notice given to the Rotary Club to apply for a licence that would need consent from every property owner affected has led to fears that the bunting will have to stay down during the July event.

Cornwall Council claims that "inappropriately hung bunting" can create a danger to highway users.

Local residents in the Cornish town have hit out at the decision, describing the council as "party poopers" and another example of health and safety gone mad.

They also highlighted the lack of injuries involving bunting since it was first used centuries ago.

But Lostwithiel Rotary Club secretary Paul Bassett says if not enough business owners respond it will not be viable to put bunting up for carnival week.

He said his committee has been told it has to comply with the 1980 Highways Act governing bunting, even though it has put the colourful decorations up with no problems for decades.

He said: "Rotary has organised the carnival and erected and brought down the bunting for not quite the 36 years since the 1980 Act, but this has now been brought to our attention and if bunting is once again to adorn Fore Street, The Parade and North Street then we need to have the consent of all property owners in those streets to whose property the bunting is to be attached.''

Cornwall Council said it has insisted the carnival committee must have a licence to put up the decorations and must get the written permission of every property owner affected to make a successful application.

The local authority says Lostwithiel Rotary Club, which organises the annual July carnival week, needs to supply the location where every piece of bunting will be attached, including house and street names and the consent of the property owners.

It added that event organisers have a duty to undertake a risk assessment when erecting bunting, and to record what measures they have taken to mitigate risk.

Under the terms of the Highways Act 1980, anyone wishing to attach bunting to buildings along or across a highway has to apply for a licence. There is no cost for the licence, provided it is for a community event.

The Council cannot give permission for bunting to be attached to buildings it does not own, which is why we ask event organisers to seek permission from building owners as part of the licensing process.

We are now processing the bunting request from Lostwithiel Rotary Club which we received on Tuesday.

– Cornwall Council